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Topic: Website Critique
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Staff Photos On Company Web Site
Posted by Anonymous on
6/10/2008 at 5:14 PM ET
What is the school of thought on including photos along side the bios of key staff members on the company web site... yes or no?
6/10/2008 at 5:29 PM
Interesting question. I don't have any stats or studies on this question, just an opinion.
I think it depends on the size of the company, the industry you're in, and who your customers are. If you're in a high touch industry and your customers might have interaction with the key staff members, I think it helps. The Internet can be very impersonal, and I think putting a face to a name helps offset that.
If your business is nationwide like mine is, I think it really helps because you become more real than a voice on the phone. I'd never anticipated publishing my photo on the Internet and fought against it for a while. But, I've found that it does help to cement long-distance business relationships.
But, there are large companies where key staff have 10 people running interference so that no customers can ever get at them. In those situations, I don't see any reason to use photos.
6/10/2008 at 5:34 PM
I like to see the face next to the name - it gives me a better feeling for the person, even if I'm only talking with them on the phone, or writing an e-mail note.
If there are too many people, or if the staff has a high turnover, it might cause some issues.
Another idea is to have an alphabetical listing of selected photos+contact info appear in a window and e.g. change every time you click on it. This can also be randomized, to make it a bit more whimsical.
Hope this helps,
6/10/2008 at 5:37 PM
We actually just ran into this question for a client, and agreed that it depends on the perception that would be achieved by viewers looking at your staff profiles.
For instance, if your staff is relatively young, there could be a misperception of inexperience, depending on the industry you are working in. Or if there are only a few staff members, showing them as a group in it's entirety could make you appear too small of an organization to generate the presence you are looking for online.
However, if you have a solid, mixed-age staff that has been with your organization an average of at least a couple years, then I would recommend including photos to make your company more personable, more attentive and approachable. Just make sure to crop out the tequila shots in the pictures!
6/10/2008 at 5:41 PM
The practice is more prevalent in small and medium companies than large ones.
For the person viewing them, they are intended to add a level of confidence in the management and founders that the company you're considering doing business with may be in good hands and experienced. They also add a level of personality, that the company is accessible and personable and interested in your needs as a client.
The only concern may be if there is a problem with stalkers or people with a big bone to pick - they may have a little too much information that they otherwise wouldn't have.
I think it is a good practice for companies where the content of the management team is a key value-add to their market presence (financial services, consulting, highly technical, etc.). It is less effective (necessary) for such businesses as a shoe store, or a small widget manufacturer.
6/10/2008 at 7:02 PM
Absolutely yes...use the photos.
6/10/2008 at 7:13 PM
Yes, but only if the photos reflect the company's values (i.e, formal photos for corporation, informal photos for fun-loving organization, etc.) and are consistent (i.e., were taken by the same photographer with similar backgrounds, etc.).
6/10/2008 at 10:13 PM
If the pictures are professionally done why not. But nothing looks cheesy-er than a bunch of random shots taken by different photographers (some of which are people's mothers and kids and so on) with different or no backgrounds and some folks in ties and some folks in t shirts and . . . well you know what I mean. So if you have the budget to hire a photographer for a shoot (and they're not cheap) go for it. But if you're planning on scavenging shots that folks just happen to have lying around . . . don't do it.
6/11/2008 at 10:11 AM
I would definately advise you to use photos - it gives a more personalised side to the company, and makes someone aware of who they're dealing with. The photos of course should be of superb quality, to give the company a high-profile image. Good luck.
6/11/2008 at 10:12 AM
I believe in photos. Here is why: often customers and potential business partners want to meet key members of your staff at association meetings and other networking events. And, even though nametags are everywhere, it helps to know what the person looks like.
6/11/2008 at 10:50 AM
Absolutely use the photos as most people have suggested so far. And, make sure that they are professionally done by the same photographer with the same background.
However, to add a unique element to the discussion, don't go overboard with the photos once you have them. I worked for a software company once that started putting their exec's photos everywhere. I guessed the figured they paid for them, they might as well use them. However, it started to come across as a little narcissistic.
All the best!
6/11/2008 at 12:03 PM
Pictures make the person approcahable. That translates into a feeling that the company will listen to its customers. Even better...have their e-mail next to their name.
6/11/2008 at 2:50 PM
Thanks so much for all the responses! (I was surprised to see the unanimous vote for "yes"!!) I will be presenting all these comments to our executive leadership team (the ones who don't want to have their picture taken) to convince them to comply. Thanks again for your quick and useful feedback!
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